Mart trade: Quality of cattle presented for sale deteriorates

There has been a marked decrease in the number of cattle presented for sale in recent days. Mart managers have also noted that this is combined with a reduced demand for some types of stock.

Many farmers outlined that the quality of cattle on offer has also declined. However, as usual, the well-bred suckler animal is the best trade and commanded the highest price.

Cow prices have continued in the same position as last week, with prices steady depending on mart location.

In addition, where strong, forward lots are on offer, the demand for these animals has been strong. However, while the weanling trade was particularly strong last week, prices have slightly eased in some cases.

Castlerea Mart

Some 650 cattle went under the hammer at Castlerea Mart on Thursday last, May 30, and the trade and prices were running at last week’s levels – especially for top-quality, short-keep stock, according to the mart’s manager Brendan Egan.

Both the heifer and bullock rings recorded a good demand with some plainer cattle a harder sell.

According to Brendan, the weanling rings reported a strong demand also, while prices for the top-quality dry cows were similar to previous weeks.

But, he noted that plainer-type cows were a harder sell. In addition, calves and breeding stock continue to be in demand, with the number on offer remaining strong, Brendan said.

Sample heifer and steer prices:
  • Charolais bullock: 420kg – €1,225 or €2.91/kg;
  • Charolais bullock: 435kg – €1,220 or €2.80/kg;
  • Limousin bullock: 595kg – €1,380 or €2.31/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 410kg – €1,085 or €2.64/kg;
  • Belgian Blue heifer: 440kg – €1,355 or €3.07/kg;
  • Charolais heifer: 650kg – €1,590 or €2.44/kg.

Cows with calves at foot traded for €1,020-1,880/unit, while springers sold for €870-1,340/head.

Looking at the calf trade, good numbers were reported, with prices remaining “strong” for all lots; dairy-cross calves made €40-110/head, while Hereford and Angus-cross types made €130-285/head.

In addition, continental calves made up to €445/head.

Sample weanling prices:
  • Charolais heifer: 250kg – €715 or €2.86/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 270kg – €845 or €3.12/kg;
  • Charolais heifer: 400kg – €1,000 or €2.50/kg;
  • Charolais bull: 250kg – €770 or €3.08/kg;
  • Limousin bull: 270kg – €820 or €3.03/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus bull: 420kg – €1,035 or €2.46/kg.

Raphoe Mart

All cattle were reported to be a “great trade” at Raphoe Mart on Thursday last, May 30.

The mart manager Anne Harkin said: “Forward store cattle were in great demand with farmers and feedlot buyers both competing for these; plainer lots also sold well with these up in price from last week.”

Bulls weighing 600kg and over sold for €600-740/head, while store bullocks fetched €400-660 over.

Heavier heifers traded for €500-860 along with their weight and lots which require further feeding sold for €300-640 over.

In addition, dry cows sold for €620-1,260/head.

Looking at prices achieved on a €/kg basis, bulls and bullocks sold for €2.00-3.00/kg and heifers fetched €2.10-2.90/kg.

Kilrush Mart

A larger than expected sale of calves took place at Kilrush Mart on Wednesday last, May 29, according to Kilrush Mart manager Martin McNamara, and these met a “very good” trade with both exporters and farmers competing.

Sample steer prices:
  • Limousin: 315kg – €875 or €2.78/kg;
  • Hereford: 305kg – €690 or €2.26/kg;
  • Limousin: 417kg – €990 or €2.37/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 515kg – €980 or €1.90/kg.

Aberdeen Angus calves were reported to make €200/head, while Hereford calves sold to €250, while continentals made €265/head.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Hereford: 345kg – €695 or €2.04/kg;
  • Hereford: 410kg – €745 or €1.82/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus: 345kg – €640 or €1.86/kg;
  • Hereford: 250kg – €450 or €1.80/kg.

In addition, a number of cull cows also went under the hammer and these were reported to meet a firm trade; samples prices are listed below.

Sample dry cow prices:
  • Friesian: 475kg – €735 or €1.55/kg;
  • Limousin: 570kg – €940 or €1.65/kg;
  • Friesian: 750kg – €1,090 or €1.45/kg;
  • Limousin: 655kg – €1,040 or €1.74/kg.